• Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh exuded confidence that India will have over 200 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022. India has set an ambitious target of having 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022.
  • UltraTech Cement Ltd said that it will sell its entire stake in Bangladesh-based Emirates Cement Bangladesh Ltd (ECBL) and Emirates Power Company Ltd (EPCL) to Germany’s HeidelbergCement for an enterprise value of $29.5 million (about Rs 211.48 crore).
  • The government administered a Rs 25,000-crore booster shot to rescue the real estate sector by approving a “Special Window” fund or an alternative investment fund (AIF) to revive around 1,600 stalled housing projects in the affordable and the middle-income categories. The move is expected to put the real estate sector and in turn, major industries linked to it, on the path to recovery. But for the measures to take effect, clarifications or changes in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, (Rera) may be required.
  • In a bid to ensure quality scrap for the steel industry, the government came out with a Steel Scrap Recycling Policy that aims to reduce imports, conserve resources and save energy. The country’s steel scrap imports were valued at Rs 24,500 crore in 2017-18, while the deficit was to the tune of 7 MT.
  • Utilisation level of coal power plants, many of which are already distressed due to lack of adequate demand and coal supply issues, touched an all-time low in October, with their average plant load factor (PLF) at 48.9% amid falling electricity usage.
  • Conventional power generating companies are undergoing additional pressure with pan-India electricity demand falling for the third straight month in October. As reported, the lowest annual average thermal PLF was recorded at 52.4% in FY86.
  • Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) has managed to woo back one of its top customers, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO), which had switched loyalties since March this year to Paradip Port Trust for shipping coal sourced by the power utility from the Talcher and Ib Valley coal mines of Mahanadi Coal Fields Ltd in Orissa. The issue demonstrates how ports such as VPT, gear up for competition to retain cargo.